Bangladesh authorities are investigating the cause of a massive fire in a Rohingya refugee camp which has left 12,000 people without shelter. No casualties have been reported. But the blaze razed 2,000 shelters after spreading quickly through gas cylinders in kitchens, officials said.
Police are investigating if the fire was an act of sabotage. One man has been detained, local media reported. The camp in the southeast is believed to be the world’s largest refugee camp.
Most of its residents, Rohingya refugees, had fled persecution in neighbouring Myanmar. On Monday, hundreds had returned to the Cox’s Bazar area to see what they could salvage from the ruins.
The blaze had started at about 14:45 local time Sunday (08:45 GMT) and quickly tore through the bamboo-and-tarpaulin shelters, an official said.
“Some 2,000 shelters have been burnt, leaving about 12,000 forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals shelterless,” Mijanur Rahman, Bangladesh’s refugee commissioner, told AFP news agency.
The blaze was brought under control within three hours but at least 35 mosques and 21 learning centres for the refugees were also destroyed, he added.